Chat rooms have been around for a long, long time. How long? From the days of the Apple //e and the Commodore 64 so at least the early 80’s. Before the earliest chat rooms, there was still one to one communication, commonly found on UNIX terminals, in the form of “talk”. Actually, it’s because of AIM that I am writing this in the first place. It seems that there’s an ambitious programmer out there that got tired of some of the AIM restrictions and opted to do something about it. Enter AIM+.
So, more or less, we’ve been communicating with each other via real time “online” chat, if only on a one to one basis, for at least 40 years. Most people think ICQ started the IM revolution – these are the same people that actually like that snaggled-tooth, shit-ily designed, flower iconed, malformed piece of shit software that has been fucking up people’s machines for a few years now. Oops, did I insinuate that I’m not an ICQ fan? If I did, let me clear up any confusion. ICQ is the worst written and most abusive piece of IM software in the past ten years. This opinion stems from their [lack of] design, their [lack of] QA testing, and… well, what else do ya need to have bad software?! They still require a ridiculous numeric ID; they still won’t let you migrate your buddy list without a PhD in RDBMS; they still have that ridiculous flower; the last I looked, they still has the most horrific web site with at least 450 links off the home page, that scrolled for about 10 screens on a 1280×1024 display. They suck. Their only saving grace is that AOL now owns them and while ICQ helped convince the public that IM was “cool” they will eventually be scrapped for AOL’s own AIM.
Actually, it’s because of AIM that I am writing this in the first place. It seems that there’s an ambitious programmer out there that got tired of some of the AIM restrictions and opted to do something about it. Enter AIM+. One of the most annoying UI things with AIM is the constant churning of ads. MSN does this as well, so you can’t blame AOL alone for it, but it’s still annoying. AIM+ lets you hide them. One of the most noticeably missing features of AIM is the fact that you have to remember to copy the contents of a past conversation to save it; should you close the IM window and you needed the data, you’re screwed. AIM+ lets you log every line of IM conversations as you go. These two things alone make AIM+ worth the download! Add to it some other features like being able to hide other parts of the AIM window, suppressing the cheezy stock ticker and “AIM Today” windows, and the fact that it allows you to change the opacity of the AIM windows… it’s a killer little AIM add-on! It truly does some neat stuff for the IM-a-holic. One of the best things about it? It’s free.
Use AIM? Get AIM+ for your own sanity: http://www.big-o-software.com.